// Honest To Blog: Rerouting

It's been quite a while since I've written an Honest To Blog post... like, a couple years I think! To be honest (ha!) I'm not even sure if I remember how to simply free write. I "rebranded" my blog a little over a year ago and dropped the name "Little Chief Honeybee" because it didn't have any backstory or reason, and because it could be mistakenly taken for cultural appropriation. When I started my blog in May 2009, LCH was simply my Myspace name (oh yeah. Myspace! Remember that?!) I didn't know what I would really blog about, but I knew that I wanted a space to share my adventures in NYC while I worked at Bust magazine. I was newly 21 and had no idea what I planned on doing with myself or my blog.

My Summer in NYC came and went, and I returned my junior year of college where I got back in touch with Mike. We moved in together, lost everything we owned to the flood, had a distance relationship while I returned to NYC the following Summer, and then tackled my senior year of college. I graduated, got engaged, moved a few different times, brought Toby home to live with us permanently, and started learning what it meant to be a parent. We got married, honeymooned in Mexico, renovated a house, and brought another little guy into the world. During all of that we started several small businesses and then Mike started nursing school. It's been a pretty eventful ride. When I think about how much of our story this blog contains, I get a little overwhelmed by it. Some days I think of this space as simply a tiny little billboard in the vast space of the internet, but other days it feels much more special. Regardless of how many installments of "Things I Love Thursday" I've done, or how many sponsored posts I've agreed to, this blog contains the timeline of my family's story. That's pretty major.

Last New Year's when I rebranded to The Clueless Girl's Guide, it was because I felt sort of stuck. I didn't feel motivated to blog, or to create DIYs, cocktails, whatever. I started to doubt myself and be overly critical of everything I was doing. It was a pretty hard time. It had been building up for a few months, and then I was determined to try and start "fresh" (well, as fresh as one could on the same blog). I wanted to use my blog as a platform to share things I tried for the first time, things I failed at, things I totally rocked, and then some. I wanted to try my hand at cooking (because I was otherwise clueless at how to make a full meal... seriously.) I wanted to learn a new skill set (because I was clueless how to do something). Shortly after deciding to work on a rebrand, we found out we were pregnant. I was going to be parenting a brand new baby... what?! As an only child, I was clueless on how to do all of these things. I wanted to use my blog as a way to document new things I tackled. I wanted to share stories of women who did the same. That's where Rad Gal, Rad Gig was born (still my favorite feature ever. And it's not retired! Don't worry!). Loads of people embraced the change when it went live, but there were plenty of critics, too. And they had great criticism that I never really managed to think of/see myself. One of the critiques was that I wasn't "clueless"... I was an educated, motivated woman with children and multiple businesses. And you know what? They were right. I am all of those things.... I never meant for "The Clueless Girl" to have any sort of negative connotation. In fact, it was meant to be the exact opposite. Overcoming things that I wasn't well versed in, etc. But as my pregnancy progressed, my motivation in making that happen waned. I didn't care too much about proving that I could possibly cook something without burning the house down. I really just wanted to get through my pregnancy safely. And then Linden was born...
Oh boy. Linden! That kid. He is certainly a bright spot in my day, but it hasn't come without its obstacles. He's such a happy, sweet baby, but he's also very needy. (Duh, what baby isn't "needy" right?) It's been such a learning lesson and most days I don't even manage to get anything done. But that's okay. I promised myself that once he was born, I'd be okay with some dirty dishes, or a few loads of laundry left for a day, and I'd worry less about this blog. And I'm happy (proud, even?) to say I've done just that. I used to panic if I went more than one day without posting, but now I'll go five and not bat an eyelash. It's not that I don't care about this space, but it's that I realize there are other things that deserve my time and attention. This blog stopped being my bread and butter a long time ago. It used to pay all the bills, and now it might take us out to dinner a couple times a month, if we're lucky. I'm okay with that. I continue to write here because like I mentioned earlier, it holds our story. 

I've known for quite a while that the new title doesn't fit the feel of this blog. But I didn't know what to do about it. I don't want to give up this space and move somewhere fresh because I want it all in one space. Plus I worked so hard over the past almost-six years, I don't want to just throw that away, ya know? I was worried that if I tried to "rebrand" yet again, I'd look foolish. Like a big failure. Admitting "defeat" isn't something I'm great at, but you know what, the rebrand/new name was just that... a failure. And that's okay. Goodness knows I've failed at much larger projects before haha! But I also don't want to "rebrand"... I don't want to look at it from a marketing perspective. When LCH turned into TCGG, I was thinking "I want to be a reference blog! Resources! Pinterest the crap out of it!" and my motivation was in the wrong place. Now... Now I just want to write about what I'm doing, what our family is up to, new things that excite me. Basically the original purpose of this blog. Not to make money or garner tens of thousands of visitors each day. Those are awesome perks, I won't lie. I've not been one to necessarily "shy" away from sponsored partnerships, especially since we're now a one-income family and Mike is eyeball deep in nursing school. But it shouldn't be the only motivation, ya know? It's not an easy time with all the commotion going on, but it's surprisingly enjoyable. They're temporary sacrifices for an awesome future. But even with that being said, I don't want this space to become void of any real experiences. I've managed to sort of shelter myself from a lot of criticism by just taking the personality out of the blog. I want to reinvent this space in the sense that I take it back to its roots a bit. Remember when I did iPhone outfit photos, before I really did outfit posts? And my entire blog was filled with grainy, iPhone 3 photos? haha I don't plan on necessarily bringing those back, but I just mean I want to write about what I know. I've probably said this a dozen times though, so take it for what you will.

This has just been something weighing on my head and heart the past little while. I know it probably seems like I've morphed into a mommy blog, despite my best efforts to assure you I wouldn't/didn't want to. But I guess the simple truth is I'm currently writing what I know. I've never spent more than 5 hours away from Linden at a time, and it's just me and him at home all day, so I tend to gravitate toward that. I know it's run some readers off, and I understand why. We all grow at different speeds, in different directions, etc. There are plenty of bloggers out there who have kids and don't feel it pertinent to mention them all that often on their blogs. I'm just not one of them I guess. I also didn't really plan to get so engulfed in a lot of the "mommy" things (babywearing, cloth diapering, reading strangers' birth stories and crying over them haha!) but that's where my interests currently are. I'm not 21, living in NYC, interning at a feminist magazine and spending boatloads of disposable income on fast fashion anymore. I'm 26 (almost 27, heaven help me!), mom of two, self employed and often trying to find the motivation to put on real clothes ha! It's probably not nearly as exciting to some, but it is to me so I want to document that. Sure, I could start a scrapbook, but instead I choose to share it here.
With all of this being said, I do plan on scrapping the name, and the blog design, and going with something else. But even then, this blog needs to be majorly organized. I was actually listening to a song a few nights ago when it hit me how perfect it would be for this blog. That's not to say that's what I'm definitely going to go with, but it inspired me enough to give me the courage to write this post. I spent a lot of time thinking "Should I be embarrassed that my rebrand was an epic fail? Should I even bother changing it? Should I give up all together?" And that's when I spent time going through the blog and seeing all the memories it contained. I don't plan on blogging forever, and if anything this can probably serve as the beginning of "the end" in a way. I plan to continue blogging until it's no longer fun for me, but I don't want it to feel like a burden or obligation like it has in the past. I know a day will come where I'll simply walk away and never come back, but that's a conversation for another blog post.

I guess I just want to say thank you... to any and everyone who has been there from the beginning, or maybe from the LCH days. And those of you who have just found me. This space has gone through some pretty epic changes over the past six years, but I'm glad I've managed to evolve in some way over that time. Maybe you came for the NYC/Bust adventures, but stayed for whatever reason. Maybe you're really into mommy-ish blogs and you like that sort of thing. Whatever your reasoning is for being part of this small space, I appreciate it. And I hope you'll stay for the next phase, too.

Thanks for letting me write all of this out. I probably sound like a bumbling fool, but I forgot just how liberating these HTB posts can be. I've missed them. xo

49 comments:

  1. I love you! And I am endlessly proud of you and your little family. While I have learned a lot in life, definitely the most important thing is that if something doesn't feel right and you have the power to change it, you should. I'm excited to see where the next year takes you!

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  2. Oh Kaelah, thanks for being so honest and open about your blog!

    I totally understand where you're coming from, but you know what? I read your blog because I feel you and I could totally be friends in real life, I totally relate to your experiences and the things you write about, even though I'm not a mommy yet I really enjoy reading those posts, too. I think it's fascinating that you're both a mom and a step-mom to Toby and that's something so unique.

    I read your blog on the LCH days and never stopped reading it when you rebranded it because you always had something new to say, new experiences, new adventures or simply just day-to-day ramblings. I feel like everyone has a story to tell, no matter what it is, and yours, Kaelah, is really special.

    Whatever you do in the future, just make sure it's worthwhile and you're doing it with a full heart x

    Rita
    heyrita.co.uk

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  3. You know why your blog is great? Because it's real. You're showing us exactly your world, not an improved or made-up version of it. I can't relate to everything you do (no kids, don't own a business, can't paint to save my life, etc.) but I can relate to liking pretty dresses, having bills, and not knowing about the future. Even when you have doubts/things are rough, you and your family are making it work. And that's encouraging to read about. So thank you :)

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  4. I'm looking forward to seeing where your blog goes on the next phase of its journey! I think change is only natural :)

    Lizzy from Nomad Notebook

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  5. I hope you keep blogging, under whatever name you choose! I randomly found you about a year ago and I truly love reading your posts and seeing all your pictures! I don't think there's any shame in rebranding. Best of luck to you!

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  6. I am 24 years old with no intention of having a baby soon but I read your blog every single time you post something new. I've followed you for several years and feel like we should have been myspace friends back then bc I can relate to you so much. You are lovely and quirky and honest- at least that's what I get from what of your life you choose to put on the internet ;)
    I don't really know why I'm writing but I wanted you to know that you are awesome and whatever you do with this blog will be great. You've gone from personal to a sponsored blogger and everything in between it seems but have done it all so well.
    I will continue to read whatever you put out there because let's face it- i have a giant crush on you and your family. I can relate to you and love the new things you turn me on to.
    You guys are awesome and even with all of the struggle you do and don't post about, you do you so well.

    Keep on keepin on and we will still be here to support you.
    I hope this isn't the beginning of the end, but if it IS, please be true to you and make it whatever the hell you want.

    Rock that shit.

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  7. Kaelah, I've read your blog since around the end of 2010 and I have loved it through its many phases, and I'm excited to see where you go next :) It's not a failure to try something new and it doesn't work, you are still trying and sharing with us and we all appreciate it. I can't wait to see the new name and design and continue seeing stories about your family.

    Amia

    Amia

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  8. I've been reading your blog since you were still dating your ex-boyfriend, and it's been a long (and good!) ride. As much as I'd honestly be so sad to see your blogging end, you should do what you want for your own life. Relax and enjoy it! :)

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  9. It takes a lot to finally admit you're going to rebrand, especially if you have before. I'm on my third blog myself. Although, this one feels right and something that will last me a lifestyle. The organization however, I am currently sorting through now The design? I'll change it after the organization. The great thing about blogs is they are yours. No matter what happens or who reads it, it's yours. And it's a reflection of you, whether you stay the same or change.

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  10. I've always followed for your honesty and cheerful-ness and will continue to do so! You go girl!

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  11. Wow. This is an intensely open-hearted post.

    I was one of those who didn't like the name change; I felt it didn't fit the incredibly capable, hard-working, intelligent woman you are. I still feel that way, but I understand outgrowing your first blog name and trying to come up with something that would be marketable when you're trying to have kind of a 'brand' identity, which is the new 'it thing' in blogging. While I'm sad you feel a bit adrift in this space and that the rebrand didn't "stick", I'm happy to hear you speaking so forthrightly and honestly. I hope it won't mean that you stop blogging anytime soon - I love love love reading your blog posts, always, even the ones I don't find time to comment on - but this is your space. You do you, and we'll come, too.

    Becoming a mother is weird, isn't it? There's these two very separated blog "worlds". There's the blog readers who absolutely will not read about kid-stuf (which of course is their right and entirely up to them) and who flee in droves and hate it when a blogger starts talking about their kid "too much" - even on a lifestyle blog and not necessarily a fashion or exercise or running blog where kid-stuff might not fit. Then there are those who are ALL ABOUT THE MOTHERHOOD and don't even want to read about anything else. And it feels like so many bloggers get stuck trying to navigate somewhere in the middle.

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  12. I found your blog from Busy Bee Lauren (remember her?!) when it was LCH. Love it then, love it now!

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  13. I love this!! You're growing and evolving -- how can that remotely be "failure"!? It's hard because blogs blur the line between business and personal-life. Business growth can be strategic and planned, but personal growth is organic and flows with life. Though your blog is a business, it's also YOU and that's why people love to read! So don't feel bad that your re-branding was a "failure". It was an evolution.

    Personally, I have really enjoyed the evolution of your blog because we've been in similar places in similar time periods, so I could really relate. I am super glad you're still blogging and I'm totally along for the ride for whatever you have in store for us next. :)

    - Mandi (http://www.lifeinbeta.com)

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  14. I've been reading since the LJ days (slightly scared to figure out how many years ago that was now!) and I'm still happily reading. That's coming from someone who isn't the least bit interested in 'mommy' blogs! Maybe that's because I don't see your blog as just that; your personality still shines through and I love catching updates about your family.

    The day you stop blogging will be a sad one but I'm sure the time will be right for you and that's what matters. Before that time comes, know that you and your blog have helped me through a lot in the past (let's just say I related to your 'ex drama' at the time!) - regardless of whether you've been Little Chief Honeybee or The Clueless Girl's Guide! Did you ever just go by Kaelahbee? That's what always seems to stick in my head. x

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    1. Oh gosh, you've been around for everything! As far as Kaelah bee goes, that has always been my "umbrella" business name. It encompasses my blog, design work, signs, etc. so I never felt like it was a good choice for a blog title!

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  15. This was such an open, honest post - thank you for sharing, Kaelah! If we're being totally honest, I have had 3 designs now that totally didn't fit me at all, simply because I never actually thought through my concept. It took so much courage to just finally pull the plug, instead of trying to duct tape everything to maybe kind of fit, but I did it in the end! And it feels so so good, so I know it will do the same for you. I just look forward to being along for the ride! <3 xxx Johanna

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  16. Really enjoyed this post. I agree about the rebrand and spotty (not the right word, but my brain isn't working well today) theme/presence since. I figured, shit, she's a bit busy with two kids! But yours is still my favorite blog. Love your outfit posts, uplifting online presence, and just the daily life type updates (linden included!). I will miss your blog if and when you walk away. Until then, I will be reading!

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  17. I so love to read your blog and keep up with your family the adventures and projects.. I hope it never stops! I can't wait to see what's next. :)

    XO Maureen

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  18. Please don't go away--I'm one of the ones who just found you! I will be following you whatever direction you take.

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  19. Girl, I love this blog post. I've been reading your blog for a long time. You found out you were pregnant shortly after I did, and it was awesome! A lot of the blogs I read have recently turned in to mommy-ish blogs and I love it! I know that not everyone got knocked up at the same time, so to readers who aren't parents, they can't relate as well. But I don't think that's AS important. Your blog is YOURS, and you can write whatever the hell you want. I'm totally into cloth diapering and babywearing too, so I relate to you on lots of levels. And I know a long time ago you said that you like country music (for some reason that's stuck with me haha) so basically what I'm tryna say is that, in a non-creepy way, you feel like a friend to me because I don't know many other moms that have my parenting style or many of the same interests. Whatever you decide to do with your blog, I'll be reading :)

    <3 Kelsey | Chaos Parade

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  20. I've been following you since we were friends on LiveJournal (remember LiveJournal!?!), and I've always enjoyed reading about your life. For what it's worth, I don't think you've become too much of a mommy blogger. You've always posted about you and your life, and having kids is a big part of that. There are other "style" blogs I follow that completely changed once the authors had kids, and I don't feel like you've changed. You're still you, ya know? Sorry, this doesn't make a lot of sense. I just wanted to express my appreciation.

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  21. Hey girl,

    I'm not one of your long-time followers (I think I discovered your lovely little corner of the internet about two years ago), but when I first saw your outfits I instantly fell in friend-love with you and your style. I went all the way back to the beginning and voraciously devoured all of your posts, and after I'd caught up I checked up on your blog every day to see if there was new content. The outfits were what lured me in, but I stayed because of your positive spirit, your creative energy, and the super-obvious kindness in every word of your posts.
    Then you became pregnant and excitedly shared your news with us, and I kept following (even though I am no pregnant and have no children of my own) because your (sometimes heartbreaking) honesty was so refreshing. Instead of just showing the off the best parts of your pregnancy and first few months of motherhood, you opened up your life to the internet's scrutiny and shared yourself with us all and I cannot explain in words how much I admire you for that.
    Darling, if rebranding again is what you feel like you need to do, I am behind you 100%. I am just one of your readers so take that with a grain of salt, but I just want to say that you don't owe us anything. You don't owe us more outfit posts, you don't need to share anything you don't want to share... you don't owe us any more posts at all, actually. You've given us the incredible blessing of following your beautiful journey through life and shown us your love story, and I think you are fully within your rights to take this blog wherever you want to. I don't think you're a failure. In fact, I admire you even more for taking a risk and trying out something new instead of just letting your blog die an uninspired death and leave us all in the dust wondering what the hell happened to you.
    You are a rockstar. I hope you never stop posting because I adore coming to your little space. I leave feeling uplifted, inspired, and positive. But that's a selfish thought, and you should do whatever feels right for YOU.
    I've always wanted to start a little style blog, but never found the courage to start. Someday I hope to be as badass as you are. :) You're a total badass and don't let anyone else make you believe anything different.

    Hugs,
    Michelle

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  22. I really can identify with your need to write about what's happening in the here and now Kaelah. Sometimes I get distracted by other blogs, and seeing how successful they are ~ all the pretty things!, tutorials!, sponsorships! ~ but then I remind myself that that is not why I blog. My story isn't exciting, and I'd have to go in a completely different direction to achieve those levels of success.

    That's not why I'm here. I'm here to share, to capture life as it comes, and to enjoy participating in a community of similar interests. That's why I blog, and that's what makes it fun for me. I hope you find your mojo and feel comfortable as well as excited about your own blog! ❤

    xox,
    bonita of Lavender & Twill

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  23. You are GREAT at branding! Don't be bummed about "having" to rebrand so soon just because your life is changing in new and wonderful ways...be excited about flexing those creative muscles again! I am stoked to see the new name/look :)

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  24. I've read your blog for years, and though I'm not a mom, I still love everything you've been posting recently. It's your blog, you should be able to do what you want with it! As long as your blog is around, I'll be reading. Good luck with any changes you plan to make!

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  25. I like to read your blog, and your stories. It might sound creepy, people from around the world getting to know you as you were "close friends". As I've been reading it for 5 years, maybe (wow, already five?!) I didn't feel the changes as a weird thing. To me, they were your evolution, and I like it. It was natural. Not forced. Of course, I miss some kind of post, but I understand the idea of the blog and I'm ok with it.

    The important thing is that your blog is only yours. It needs motivation to keep it up. And if your motivation is now at your family, that would be the evolution of the blog. Who knows... maybe in a few years, when Linden grows up a little, start playing alone, you could find another motivation and another issues to blog about.

    Hugs,

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  26. Blogging for me is cathartic, and I honestly don't care about who reads it! It's a chronicle of our life journey, and blogs change over time. My blog is so random.

    I'd think about the value you've gotten from blogging, such a the trips you've taken, the memories you've captured, the friends you've made... If I didn't have a blog to play with, I wouldn't have met you and a bunch of the other wonderful Nashville ladies!

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    1. I'm so grateful to have met you through blogging, lady! You are a gem!

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  27. I recently cleared out my Feedly account of all the blogs I wasn't catching up on due to lost interest and the ones I kept around to hate read, and this post made me realize you are one or two that I held on to that I had been following for more than a year! I always feel like your blog is actually genuine and authentic, but it's always refreshing to read these posts from you. Whatever you decide to do, I'll be following along!

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  28. I have always enjoyed reading your blog, whatever name you call it or brand it as. You've always had a real, authentic voice and for me, that's what keeps me coming back. I don't have kids, and while I can't always relate to specific blog posts, it's the way you write about it that is engaging to me. YOU are your brand on this blog. Just remember that :)

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  29. just curious if you're a one income family and the blog docent pay the bills anymore, how do you make money? student loans? not snarking, i'm honestly just impressed with y'all being able to afford two kids + being adorable on a regular basis

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    1. One income as in "my" income - I'm lucky enough to almost always have a full roster of blog design clients and sign paintings. I also have a couple contract design jobs that I don't ever really share here (they're not blog related - web design and maintenance). I also do social media outreach for the tea box. We live in a very small, affordable town and we've become quite frugal in comparison to how we were pre-kids. I think that's a normal transition though.

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  30. You have a beautiful soul. I have been reading your blogs since 2009 when I first discovered you. You also inspired me to wear more dresses thats for sure haha. It's been so cool to read about your adventures throughout the past 6 years, a lot has happen and I honestly hope you don't stop blogging anytime soon. As far as a new name for your blog, I'm excited to see what your going to call it, I don't personally like the word "clueless" in general — no one is ever clueless... we're all different and know different things. I know you'll pick the perfect name that suits you for who you are. =]

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  31. Thanks for sharing all this! Regardless of your blog's name (and I'll admit, I wasn't a fan of "Clueless" for the reasons others gave - you're not clueless at all!), it's an awesome space that's given me a lot of inspiration and happy moments. I've been reading for a few years now and I've loved seeing how you and your family have grown. Excelsior!

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  32. I love when bloggers share honestly, so thanks for this post! Lots of things to think about, for sure! xoxo

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  33. Thanks for sharing this post with us. I first started reading your blog in the LCH days when I stumbled upon your mixtapes. I loved those so much! Honestly I have stayed away for a bit because it did seem to become a mommy blog. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I just cannot relate to it. Like you said though you are just writing about what you know.

    I do want to say that you should not feel bad in any way for rebranding the blog. People change and grow as they go through life and since your blog is a slice of your life if it stayed the same it would not be true to yourself or your readers. Do what you gotta do!

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  34. This is beautiful. Wow! This post hit me right in the feels. It's a really weird phenomena being a faithful reader of a blog and feeling like you "know" the author... but that's how I feel. It's 100% embarrassing, but I was actually "friends" with you on MySpace waaaaay back when (2008?). I remember being 15 years old, reading your blog posts and thinking "this is the girl I want to be at 21-- beautiful, living in a big city, magazine internship, doing the damn thing". You were the positive influence I certainly didn't have at that time.

    Over the past six years, I'm pretty sure I've typed "kaelahbee.com" into my browser at least once or twice a month-- I feel like I've spent my formative years reading LCH/TCGG, soaking up your wisdom and admiring your entrepreneurial spirit. I'd be lying if I said you hadn't inspired me to do my own thing. Now *I'm* the 21-year-old girl, living in a big city, chasing my dreams. Regardless of how you feel about the rebrand, the lulls in inspiration, or life getting too busy to blog with your beautiful kiddos, just know there will always be readers supporting whatever you choose to do. Thank you for the years of sharing and being so authentic, Kaelah. xo

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  35. This post was awesome. I admire your truth and honesty! Can't wait to see the re-brand and see where the blog goes from here :) Thank you for this post!

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  36. Looking forward to the rebrand! I did the same with my blog lately! I just wrote about it. There is so much emphasis on professional bloggers lately it has taken the fun out of it! At the end of the day the majority of us started blogs to chat about our lives and our interests, not to just create pinable content.

    I cant wait to see your new posts! Just you and your thoughts :) Thats why I started following you all the way back in 07!

    Good Luck Kaelah :) xx

    Claire Ann

    http://puddingsunday.blogspot.ie/

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  37. I've started reading you before I started university, way back in the beginning (2009-ish? Does that make sense? Years confuse me haha) and I feel, even though you don't know me, we've grown together - I, too, got married, graduated, have a beautiful baby (girl) and now going back to work.. So yeah, things changed over the years but hey, that's life - stuff happen, we don't stay put, and some people leave us and others come along... What I'm trying to say is this is YOUR space, do whatever you like with it, and if anyone has a problem with it - well, it's a good opportunity for them to learn how to deal with that issue XD

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  38. i think you should just rename your blog kaelahbee.. i mean, it's what you go by everywhere else on social media! and then it's not really a "rebrand" it's just you!

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  39. I've followed you for a long time! I haven't always been great at checking in constantly, but every now and then I think about you and pop in. I just found this post, and I totally love the direction you've gone with your blog. It just means that you are growing up. And I can relate to it because I have done the same over the years. Everyone does! I agree with the other comment about naming your blog "kaelahbee". I have to admit I was a little confused with "thecluelessgirl" but it hasn't lost me as a follower! I hope you make blogs for many years to come.

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HEY! Thanks for dropping by. xo KB